The Immortal 'Serenade'

70 views
Skip to first unread message

Mike McAdam

unread,
Feb 13, 2010, 2:43:36 PM2/13/10
to Mario Lanza, Tenor
Assuming that many members have not heard the outtake featured on the
now-withdrawn Rhino CD “Mario Lanza’s Greatest Performances at M-G-M”
I have uploaded it in order to serve as a comparison to the version
used in the final film print.
Mario’s vocal take is identical in each but the orchestra, which
actually ‘drowns’ Mario at one point in the outtake (“…O, hear my
serenade, my moonlight serenade”), is far into the background in the
soundtrack version. The orchestra also carries on a little longer
after the final climactic note; perhaps to facilitate the scene
transition.
Here’s the outtake version:

http://www.4shared.com/file/221384335/7ec63372/Serenade-FilmOuttake.html

and, the recording captured from the film soundtrack:

http://www.4shared.com/file/221422541/40b96adb/Serenade-FilmSoundtrack.html

I have abbreviated the long orchestral intros (natch) for this
exercise. Have a listen. Quite a difference. With Mario this far
forward in the soundtrack mix, it definitely bolsters the feeling
that, Operatic recordings aside, this just might have been Mario’s
finest performance.
Enjoy!
Mike

Derek McGovern

unread,
Feb 14, 2010, 5:07:53 AM2/14/10
to mario...@googlegroups.com
Hi Mike: Many thanks for this! I *love* the quality on the Rhino
version up until the middle section, when the volume abruptly drops
and (as you pointed out) Mario is drowned out at one point by the
orchestra. It seems to lose momentum after that, and the recording
also (slightly) lets down the final note. But on the actual film
soundtrack, everything is perfection! By the way, I liked how on the
soundtrack version you retained the stereo orchestral opening of the
Rhino version. It blended well. (Not so sure about reverting to the
Rhino orchestral ending, though -- it was slightly jarring.)

It's fascinating how different the mixes are on these Student Prince
recordings, not just between the Rhino take(s) and the film
soundtrack, but between the RCA album and the film. I'll Walk with
God, for example, sounds even more impressive in the film (especially
the ending), while Drink! Drink! Drink! sounds better on the RCA
version. Same recordings, of course.

Is Serenade Lanza's greatest non-operatic recording? Well, one thing's
for sure: it has "vocal genius" stamped all over it!

Cheers
Derek

Armando

unread,
Feb 14, 2010, 8:57:29 PM2/14/10
to Mario Lanza, Tenor
Superlative singing by any standards. Lanza at his romantic best. The
total involvement, perfect phrasing and emphasis of the lyrics,
particularly in the context of scene in the film, is for me one of the
most moving moments in the movie and one that always leaves me misty
eyed.

It is certainly among his very best performances and would have the
some effect on me if played on a 78, but well done Mike.


On Feb 14, 6:43 am, Mike McAdam <macadame...@ns.sympatico.ca> wrote:
> Assuming that many members have not heard the outtake featured on the
> now-withdrawn Rhino CD “Mario Lanza’s Greatest Performances at M-G-M”
> I have uploaded it in order to serve as a comparison to the version
> used in the final film print.
> Mario’s vocal take is identical in each but the orchestra, which
> actually ‘drowns’ Mario at one point in the outtake (“…O, hear my
> serenade, my moonlight serenade”), is far into the background in the
> soundtrack version. The orchestra also carries on a little longer
> after the final climactic note; perhaps to facilitate the scene
> transition.
> Here’s the outtake version:
>
> http://www.4shared.com/file/221384335/7ec63372/Serenade-FilmOuttake.html
>
> and, the recording captured from the film soundtrack:
>

> http://www.4shared.com/file/221422541/40b96adb/Serenade-FilmSoundtrac...

Jan Hodges

unread,
Feb 14, 2010, 11:03:39 PM2/14/10
to mario...@googlegroups.com
Thank you Mike. That was sheer beauty especially the soundtrack version . You could really notice the difference between the two.It is in my category of superb performances.
 It is one of my greatest regrets that Mario didn't get to make that movie...I can't bear to watch Edmund Purdom lip synching..I just shut my eyes and imagine Mario.
Thanks for all the work you do.
Regards Jan
faint_grain.jpg

Maria Luísa

unread,
Feb 17, 2010, 4:44:48 AM2/17/10
to Mario Lanza, Tenor
This is almost too beautiful to be true.These two renditions - for me
they seem practically alike - are the maximum perfection in singing
The song is superb, the phrasing impeccable, the sound of his glorious
voice is full of beauty. The way he pronounces each syllable is
unbelievably perfect. I wonder if Mario had the exact perception that
his perfect phrasing together with his beautiful English, were the key
for his tremendous success as a tenor. Intelligent as he was he must
have had. Hearing him sing, no matter what song or aria, is a true
hymn to the English language.

leeann

unread,
Feb 18, 2010, 8:08:29 PM2/18/10
to Mario Lanza, Tenor
Mike, thank you so much for posting these and for the listening tips.
I have to echo the other comments. The soundtrack is such a moving
expression of feeling--no gimmicks, no artifice--but a profound unity
of voice, music, articulation, timing, and perfect placement in the
movie. Gets to me everytime. I hold my breath. Lee Ann

Muriel

unread,
Feb 27, 2010, 10:05:27 PM2/27/10
to Mario Lanza, Tenor
I've just listened to the film version five times in a row and I feel
like I've been transported to a place where I'd love to stay forever.
This has to be the nearest place to perfection. If I close my eyes, I
feel like I'm sitting in a field with the most fragrant and soft as
velvet flower petals float all around me. The music and the words just
flow so effortlessly that I do not want to move or breathe. Mario
makes the magical mood and I marvel at how he can cause one to forget
present surroundings.

Thanks, Michael, for bringing it in such great sound. I do prefer this
to the Rhino version. I love hearing Mario forward like this as he
could be standing beside me. *That * would certainly send me off to
another sphere.

Great job!!

Muriel

On Feb 13, 2:43 pm, Mike McAdam <macadame...@ns.sympatico.ca> wrote:
> Assuming that many members have not heard the outtake featured on the
> now-withdrawn Rhino CD “Mario Lanza’s Greatest Performances at M-G-M”
> I have uploaded it in order to serve as a comparison to the version
> used in the final film print.
> Mario’s vocal take is identical in each but the orchestra, which
> actually ‘drowns’ Mario at one point in the outtake (“…O, hear my
> serenade, my moonlight serenade”), is far into the background in the
> soundtrack version. The orchestra also carries on a little longer
> after the final climactic note; perhaps to facilitate the scene
> transition.
> Here’s the outtake version:
>
> http://www.4shared.com/file/221384335/7ec63372/Serenade-FilmOuttake.html
>
> and, the recording captured from the film soundtrack:
>

> http://www.4shared.com/file/221422541/40b96adb/Serenade-FilmSoundtrac...

Derek McGovern

unread,
Feb 27, 2010, 10:24:35 PM2/27/10
to mario...@googlegroups.com
Ciao Muriella: Couldn't agree more, my dear! But I'm surprised that
fewer people have downloaded the superior film soundtrack version (the
second of Mike's links:
http://www.4shared.com/file/221422541/40b96adb/Serenade-FilmSoundtrack.html)
than the Rhino version. Perhaps they're confused by what Mike has
offered us here: the same recording, but with a strikingly different
balance between Mario and orchestra in places.

The film version sounds better than any other mix or pressing (on LP
or CD) that I've heard of this recording. I also love the fact that on
both versions the male chorus is pushed into the background. Their
voices are far too dominant on the commercial RCA/BMG release, and
actually date the recording somewhat. Besides, they shouldn't be
upfront with Mario on what's supposed to be an intimate serenade!

Cheers
Derek

Muriel

unread,
Feb 27, 2010, 10:44:45 PM2/27/10
to Mario Lanza, Tenor
Of course!! The chorus should not be evident at all. Let's send them
into the forest and allow Mario to sing his serenade in peace. I'm
sure Kathie would not object to that. This version sounds the best
ever.

Whenever I've made an introductory CD for friends, I make sure
Serenade is one of the first tracks they hear. That seems to grab
their attention and win their hearts.


(BTW, I should have previously written petals "floating" all around
me.) Mi dispiace...M

On Feb 27, 10:24 pm, Derek McGovern <derek.mcgov...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Ciao Muriella: Couldn't agree more, my dear! But I'm surprised that
> fewer people have downloaded the superior film soundtrack version (the

> second of Mike's links:http://www.4shared.com/file/221422541/40b96adb/Serenade-FilmSoundtrac...)

> >> Mike- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -

Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages